13 March 2024

“The Election Commission... has decided unanimously to ask the Constitutional Court to dissolve the Move Forward party.”

Democracy Monument

The Election Commission of Thailand has petitioned the Constitutional Court, calling for the dissolution of Move Forward, the progressive party that won last year’s election but was excluded from government. If, as expected, the court rules against Move Forward, the party’s fourteen million voters will be further disenfranchised, and the governing coalition will have no meaningful opposition in parliament.

The ECT’s decision was a response to a Constitutional Court ruling in January that Move Forward’s manifesto pledge to amend the lèse-majesté law violated article 49 of the constitution, according to which it is forbidden “to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State.” Citing the court’s ruling, the ECT announced yesterday: “There is evidence that Move Forward undermines the democratic system with the king as the head of state”.

Yesterday’s petition to the court was inevitable, as article 92 of the Organic Act on Political Parties (2017) states that the ECT, “when having believable evidence that any political party performed any of the following actions, shall file a petition to the Constitutional Court to dissolve such political party.” The first of those actions is: “To overthrow the democratic form of government with the King as head of state”, of which Move Forward was found guilty by the Constitutional Court in January.

In its statement released yesterday, the ECT said: “The Election Commission has considered and analysed the Constitutional Court verdict and has decided unanimously to ask the Constitutional Court to dissolve the Move Forward party.” The court will deliberate for several months, though a verdict of dissolution is highly likely, as other anti-establishment parties—Thai Rak Thai, People Power, Thai Raksa Chart, and Move Forward’s predecessor Future Forward—have all met the same fate.

Today, the ECT also announced that it would begin an investigation into Bhumjaithai, a member of the current coalition government, after a former Bhumjaithai MP was found guilty of asset concealment by the Constitutional Court. On 17th January, the court ruled that Saksayam Chidchob, while serving as transport minister in Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government, had awarded twenty-three state infrastructure contracts to Burijarearn, a construction firm he owned. (Saksayam is the brother of Newin Chidchob, known as the godfather of Buriram.)

1 comment(s):

Matthew Hunt said...

Election Commission of Thailand: https://www.ect.go.th/ect_th/th/db_119_ect_th_cms_1/5782

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